Quietness In Times Of ‘Isolation’

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In these corona days people who live alone may well feel they have had far too much quietness thrust upon them, while many family members, forced together into states of furlough, home working and home schooling, may long for some personal space and silence. In either case heartfelt commiserations are due. Meanwhile here in Wenlock we are lucky to have many peaceful spots, and though they are a little busier than in pre-lockdown days, there is still a chance for some quiet meandering, and especially here along the Linden Walk. These photos were taken a few weeks ago during the lime trees’ first flush.

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Mostly, though, we Farrells hardly need to leave our little domain for our ‘quiet moments’. He who is presently constructing a scratch model vintage Great Western Railway wagon has his shed in one corner of the garden, whither soft strains of classical music and the whirring of the lathe waft out over the flower beds. That or the sounds of heavy man-pondering.

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At the other end of the garden we both have the benefit of the garden fence to lean on, which we do often with a mid-morning cup of coffee or a sundowner glass of wine, while surveying the sky, the field, the guerrilla garden or saying hello to the odd passer by. At times we can stand in the field and chat (loudly) with the next door neighbours, who have been sheltering for medical reasons, over their garden fence.

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Near the back gate, between the honeysuckle and the Smoke Bush there is also the old Seat of Wisdom. This particular facility serves all who sit on it with a dousing of sage essence, this from the bush that insists on growing through the back of the seat no matter how many times we cut it back or move the seat. Recently we have let it get on with it, now certain that this ad hoc herbal treatment is most beneficial for body, mind and spirit. In fact I seem to remember sage figured largely in medicinal remedies during times of the  Plague.

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Finally on the daily-quiet-resort front there’s the field path to the allotment, which a little like Charles Darwin’s thinking path, though without the angst of evolutionary rumination, is a good place for my own brand of heavy pondering – on matters horticultural, or indeed for some silent ranting about the state of life, the universe and everything. For here’s the paradox: despite the immense good fortune of having at hand all these lovely places for peaceful contemplation, I can still feel another lockdown-regime rant coming on.  Time to head to the allotment then – execute a few weeds.

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Lens-Artists: A Quiet Moment  This week Patti invites us to capture peaceful interludes, places for reflection and the recharging flagging spirits.

71 thoughts on “Quietness In Times Of ‘Isolation’

  1. I agree, the linden walk looks wonderful. I understand the paradoxical feelings of enjoying the quiet and isolation but also feeling ready to have it done with and then the whole rant thing…well, I need say no more. 🙂 Lovely fences to share a chat over or take in the view.

    Happy Sunday.

    janet

  2. Love the Linden walk and to be honest I have quite enjoyed the quietness of the roads and beaches down here (though to be fair I have avoided them still), like we were back in the 1950s when more people were at home and no-one had the need of two wages to buy a house or required two or more cars, but walked or used a bike to get to work and children mostly stayed at home with their mother until they started school after their 5th birthday. But of course as soon as restrictions are lifted it seems everyone wants to go back to the old normal and shop and go to pubs and gather in large crowds and cram themselves on a plane for a foreign holiday.

    Have we forgotten already how much our planet has benefited from this time of peace and rest?

    1. Yes, that slip-back-to-the-fifties feeling was nice while it lasted. But then the road outside the front has been getting busier and busier over the last few weeks. And during the heat wave a couple of weeks ago we did have several invasions of several hundred people driven here from all over the West Midlands, come to pretend they were at the seaside on the shores of Shadwell Quarry behind Windmill Hill. They left us lots of drink cans, bottles and piles of nitrous oxide capsules and had at least one incident that involved the air ambulance and several fire engine crews. It’s on private land so the police did nothing, but the pool is a good 70 feet deep because there were plans at one time for a dive school. Hair-raising all round. Social media provided the trigger – roll up to Wenlock’s own Blue Lagoon.

  3. Lovely Tish, truly. I often feel bad hearing “we’re all in this together” because so many of us are much more fortunate than others. I feel guilty even thinking about complaining or ranting. But holding it in is no good either. So I rant quietly to myself 😊

      1. Very well thank you Tish. Enjoying the summer which is always my favourite season. Taking advantage of all the sunshine and getting out on lots of walks, all local of course, but it’s so easy to explore around here – found some lovely spots near Bradfield that I’d never been to before. Pretty happy really in spite of all the doom and gloom I seem mostly to write about! How about you? Hope you’re well too.

      2. We are fine, thanks, James, but as you may have gathered, in between the gardening, I am very, very cross. Feel we’ve been and are being thoroughly ‘Emperor’s-New-Clothes-ed’. Tsunamis of manipulation.

      3. Good to hear you’re doing well. We are fine, but as you may have gathered, in between gardening I am very very cross. Thinking we’ve been royally ’emperor’s new clothes-ed’. Tsunamis of propaganda.

  4. I can never get tired of seeing your Linden walk. It is beautiful through all the seasons, but the light you caught in this photo is stunningly peaceful. You paint a picture of tranquility and old world charm with words and pictures in your little piece of paradise. But then down to earth with a thud as the modern world intrudes again. Fortunately, like sensible wales, our borders are still closed, but Queenslanders are getting out and about in their own backyard in droves. Dread to think what it will be back to once the borders open and all those poor cold southerners flood up here to get away from their climate and enjoy winter warmth in our State.

    1. It’s lovely that you love our Linden Walk, Pauline. I was there earlier this morning (not something I normally do on a Monday). The sun on the lime blossom was filling the air with the most delectable scent: thorn flowers-honeysuckle and a touch of citrus. I think it might be a good cure for ranting. Must go back later for another good sniff.

      1. Well worth a daily walk to take away the angst of what is happening in your country Tish. I still like to remember what it was like in the 1950’s when I left for NZ. As Jude was saying it was like during lockdown

    1. Ha! A scratch ‘n sniff post! I’ll just have to tell you: there are scents of rose, sweet peas, and honeysuckle. And of course the sage if you get too close to it!

  5. I love your take on the theme, Tish, and your personal reflections about your time in the garden. It looks like a marvelous, quiet space. Really lovely! I’ve been looking longingly at gardens in our town, wishing I could dig into the earth. I think it would be very peaceful and therapeutic.

    1. Thank you, Patti. As you say, there is so much to be said for connecting with the soil, though I was only thinking yesterday, looking with my wardrobe of unworn ‘going out in the world’ clothes, that mostly all I’ve worn for weeks are rather soily garments. The finger nails don’t look too good either 🤔

  6. Such a lovely vista of trees! I am transported to Regency movies pan shots!
    I have to say Quiet is one of the few perks of this season. As restrictions begin to lift, the traffic returns and the pavements are crowding again.

  7. I’ve been loving the silence, which has diminished now that things here are starting to open up a little.
    That linden walk is pure heaven, as is your garden and all your lovely contemplation places. I understand the need to rant but best to execute a few weeds instead I think 🙂
    Alison

  8. The Linden Walk is so GREEN to these Antipodean eyes. I really miss spring green. You capture the Farrells in lockdown so wonderfully, while you recognise the privileges of quiet which so many people don’t have. I love the image of the Farrell man in his shed with music and construction. The man in my life has spent two weeks repairing fire damage: he called himself F&C Constructions. He also said the air was blue, so you can probably figure out what F & C stand for. However it’s done, and he’s pleased. Classical music in the evening the reward.

    1. I’m more an F & B operator. Dreadful really. But I can only begin to glimpse the angst and effort of fire-damage repair, pushing back through destruction and despair. So hard to stand one’s ground before elemental onslaught.
      We have been very lucky with our green. First it arrived after the months of rain. Then things started drying up after weeks without rain. Then it rained a lot. Now we’re having a second rejuvenation of greenness, but we’re also promised more ‘hot and dry’. All very changeable. All I can think of is mulch and compost making.

      While I’m here I’m re-reading a book I think you’d love if you haven’t read it – Colette’s ‘My Mother’s House’ – a series of brief vignettes of childhood and family life in village Burgundy: evocation without sentimentality.

  9. I’m drawn into the lush greenness of your world. It all looks so inviting … a welcome respite from the intense heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing for days.

    Now I can hear my plants in the front yard crying from thirst and I shall have to go and drag out the hose once again to water them down.

  10. It was such a delight to come across your blog – from a like on my blog. The Linden walk is one of those dreamy paths I go to in my mind’s contemplative moments. I am also envious of such a wonderful garden and that shed nestled so snugly in amongst the plants. The pause we have all had with Corona was good for me, but I sense everyone is restless now?

  11. Oh, the Linden Walk! A beautiful and quiet post from days gone by to what it is today. Love your garden talk and your wonderful photos. Here we are dreading the onslaught of Stockholm vacation people. Many of them has got summer places in Skåne, where I live, and we have been greatly spared from the virus so far…Worrying it is.

    1. Hello, Ann-Christine. I can see an invasion of city visitors may seem alarming. But I think current research now shows that a large proportion of the population are anyway immune to the virus due to their systems being primed by having had a cold or the flu. Most infection occurs in close domestic settings, hospitals and care homes. Also hopefully everyone is topping up their vitamin D levels from the sunshine. It bothers me greatly that we’ve made so afraid.

      1. I agree, Tish. But still the overall situation in the world is keeping me low. There are so many things to be grateful for, but my mood is up and down all the time. I cannot stand the news from South America, Brasil. I guess the world is as it is, and we will have to live with it. So glad to have blogging friends all over the world.

      2. Thank you for the link, Tish! Fortunately we have excellent researchers and experiences virologists here as well, but I always try to listen to experts from outside too. Gives you a sane and more diversified picture. Your tip was new to me – so grateful, thank you.

      3. Greatly admire Sweden’s approach. Here in the UK the government has ‘painted itself into a corner’. Hard to see how anything resembling normality will be restored.

      4. I hope you will be restored too – I am sure the people will see to it.. . Most people in Sweden approve of our approach, but it is starting to get hotter politically again. Consensus and peace has ruled, but the opposition wants to be seen before next election. Everything is a game – but I believe this is not the time for that. First we must navigate in the storm…to come out of it as best we can .

      5. I agree, A-C, this is no time for games, but I’m thinking they will long continue in the UK, if only to convince people that lockdown needed to happen. The problem here is we have no decent opposition party. For some reason neither side is listening to actual informed scientific opinion or evidence. It’s quite bizarre. We have no Anders Tegnell on our front line.

  12. Stunning Tish, and having come directly here from Jude’s hill at the bottom of the garden I am feeling quite sad I don’t have this on my doorstep, and that my garden is too much of a wilderness. I really hope I can convince MrB that 2021 is the year we have to move

      1. We’ve been pondering is for 5ish years. MrB takes a while to make a decision and as he’s been here over 30years it is a huge one to make!

      2. Hm. I can see that would be a big wrench. Often though it’s a question of falling in love with somewhere else, and then the leaving part is less of an issue. We do so attach ourselves to stuff and places though, and not necessarily to our benefit.

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